Despite Matt Capps doing his best to blow the game in the 9th inning, Scott Baker's shortened appearance tonight was strong enough to keep the Twins in the game, with a little help from the not-really-terrible bullpen. With the offense putting up a few runs (thanks again, Matt Joyce!), the relief pitching being adequate (aside from Capps, of course), and a fairly sketchy call to end the game (Damon was most likely safe), the Twins notch their third win in a row and guarantee a series win over the Rays.
After the jump, you can find a quick rundown of the game, injury updates, manager's comments, and studs and duds. I promise (not really) that it'll be fun.
So, What Happened?
-Scott Baker's night was cut short after the 5th inning when he was replaced by Phil Dumatrait. After waiting a while to hear a diagnosis, it sounds like he has a slight elbow strain and will be receiving an MRI tomorrow.
-Baker only had 3 strikeouts on the night, and had one unearned run (top of the 4th inning, error on Danny Valencia).
-Matt Joyce misplayed a ball hit into right field by Super All Star Michael Cuddyer in the bottom of the 4th inning, allowing 2 runs to score.
-The Twins find it very difficult to get Ben Zobrist out. Tonight he went 3-for-4, including a double and stolen base. He also scored the run in the 4th.
-The only other Rays player to get more than one hit was BJ Upton, who hit a home run off of Matt Capps in the 9th inning, making the score 3-2, Twins.
-As for the Twins' offense, Ben Revere was the only player to get more than one hit, and he also scored two runs. I'm not sure if you guys knew this, but that kid is pretty fast.
-Alexi Casilla hit another double today, giving him 13 on the year. Yeah.
-Joe Mauer was 0-for-4 with 2 SO. Commence teeth-gnashing.
-No taters for Jimmers tonight, who was 0-for-2, though he did take a walk.
-Johnny Damon was probably safe on the last call of the game, as he hustled to 1B but was called out by 1B ump Gary Darling. It's an unfortunate note to end on, really.
-The bullpen was solid. Again, aside from Matt Capps, the bullpen combined for 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, and 2 SO. Including Matt Capps in that line gives us: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 2 SO. Yuck. The top of the ninth was frustrating and horrible, and Twins fans everywhere were probably feeling the same sense of impending doom. Luckily, after a home run, hit, and walk, Gardy saw the light and pulled Capps to put Glen Perkins in and finish the game.
-As was mentioned above, Scott Baker will be going in for an MRI tomorrow to get his elbow looked at. Hopefully it's nothing too serious, as he's been our best starter for a while now.
-Gardy was quoted by several of the Twins beat writers as saying "Capps is still our closer", which I know is very reassuring.
-According to Jordan Schelling, Johnny Damon certainly felt he was safe: "Did you guys see the replays? I felt like it was pretty obvious." Fair point.
-Jason Kubel is hoping to play in Rochester after the All Star break, assuming his foot is feeling better.
-How ridiculous, really, is the hold stat? Matt Capps got another 'hold' tonight, after almost blowing the game entirely. Poor form.
Ben Revere, Phil Dumatrait/Alex Burnett/Joe Nathan/Glen Perkins, Michael Cuddyer, Alexi Casilla
Matt Capps, Joe Mauer, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Danny Valencia...I cannot bring myself to put Jim Thome on any 'Duds' list, so he's safe for tonight.
Here's to a continued winning streak tomorrow!